Innovative approach to access to diabetes care recognised in global ranking

In the 2nd Access to Medicines Index (ATMI), released in Amsterdam Monday 21 June, Novo Nordisk ranks 8th among 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies. The ATMI ranks the world’s largest drug originator and generics companies on their efforts to make sure that medicines are made for, and reach, people in low and medium-income countries. The benchmark is made on the basis of company commitments, transparency, performance and innovation.

According to ATMI, Novo Nordisk is demonstrating leading practice in the following fields:

  • Novo Nordisk is among the highest performing companies in the area of innovative approaches to addressing Access to Medicine challenges.
  • The company’s Access to Medicine programme priorities are determined by and developed in close collaboration with global health institutions.
  • The company continues to expand the breadth of its equitable pricing programs for diabetes and has implemented ‘pilot’ schemes to ensure the equitable prices are passed on to patients.
  • Novo Nordisk has undertaken significant activities through the “Changing Diabetes” umbrella and it’s World Diabetes Foundation, both of which aim at the “prevention and treatment of diabetes worldwide”.

We welcome ideas for improvements

The index suggests that we can improve our Access to Medicines activities by developing more products adapted to the specific needs of populations in developing countries, by strengthening disclosure of intra-country pricing programs targeting specific groups (migrants, children and the poor) and by further increasing local capacity in developing countries.

- We are pleased to see that ATMI recognises our partnership approach and long-term effort to improve access to diabetes prevention, treatment and care in developing countries. We also welcome the suggestions for improvement and will consider these in our continued effort to improve access to diabetes care in developing countries, says Corporate Vice President of Global Stakeholder Engagement, Charlotte Ersbøll.

ATMI methodology favours broader disease portfolios

In the first ATMI released in 2008 Novo Nordisk ranked 2nd. A significant change in methodology and scope from 2008 to 2010 makes the two benchmarks incomparable.

Our focus is on diabetes, which is a growing at an alarming rate in developing countries, and our contribution to better access evolves around diabetes prevention, detection and care. In the updated ATMI, it is reflected as a relatively lower score, given its very broad coverage of 33 disease areas.

ATMI recognises the impact this has on the ranking of focused companies: ‘In ATMI 2010 insulin producers are analyzed based on the same weights and scoring guidelines as all the other originator companies. Consequently the company’s (Novo Nordisk) ranking has been affected by its narrow scope of ATM related activities and also its empty research pipeline for the Index diseases.’

A valuable tool

We commend the work that the ATMI has undertaken to provide a better overview of initiatives to improve access to medicines a care. We see access to health as a key driver of economic development, and with this tool the industry as well as the investor community and other stakeholders will be able to identify and proactively address challenges and opportunities.

The nature of diabetes and chronic diseases calls for structural interventions and self-management, it requires much more than providing medicine to enable people to live healthy and productive lives.

- Most of Novo Nordisk’s access programmes have been in place for a decade, and effort to make real, sustainable impacts require a long-term commitment and a focused approach. We therefore are encouraged to see how the level of commitment across the industry has been raised over the past few years, says Charlotte Ersbøll.

Further reading

Read more about Novo Nordisk’s work to improve Access to Health in developing countries here.

The Access to Medicine Index was created by the Access to Medicine Foundation, a Netherlands-based non-profit. See the full Index here.